Members of the seven-man team are Mohamed Abu Sesay-Financial Expert and Chairman of the Team, William Kamanda-Monitoring and Evaluation Expert, Augustine Sengbeh-Marrah-Lawyer, Edward Massaquoi-CARITAS, Valnora Edwin-Good Governance Campaigner, Dr. Fatu Taqi-50/50 Group, and Joe Pemagbi-OSIWA.
Speaking at the meeting, the Commissioner of ACC Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. said the country is seeking to develop a Strategy that incorporates the views of all citizens. He said it is of importance that a Strategy that will be owned by the people of Sierra Leone is produced. He expressed great satisfaction at the high turnout and the fact that senior members of political parties attended the meeting.
Director of the NACS Secretariat at the ACC, Nabilahi-Musa Kamara, said the meeting is part of the Expert Team’s national consultation to give opportunity for all Sierra Leoneans to contribute to the Strategy. He emphasised that the Strategy will be the country’s roadmap to fight corruption in the next five years.
The Lead Expert for the development of the new Strategy, Mohamed Abu Sesay, said they wanted to know about some of the corruption issues in politics and the electioneering process, and ways to address them. He said corruption lowers the image of the country and political parties, who provide political leadership, have a major role to play in combating the scourge. He spoke on the need for political parties to develop and institute anti-corruption policies and rules on conflict of interest.
The Sierra Leone People’s Party was represented by its Secretary General Umaru Napoleon Koroma; Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh represented the All Peoples Congress; the National Grand Coalition was represented by Dr. Dennis Bright; whilst the Coalition for Democratic Change was represented by its National Chairman, Tamba Sandy. There were also representations from the Alliance Democratic Party, Peoples Democratic Party, National Democratic Alliance, People’s Movement for Democratic Change, Revolutionary United Front Party, United Democratic Movement, United National People’s Party and the Unity Party.
Various speakers spoke on the need to address areas of paying bribes for symbols, institute anti-corruption measures, integrate anti-corruption issues in the school curriculum, ensure more women’s participation in politics, give more protection to whistle-blowers and enforce laws that promote transparency in political parties and the electioneering process.
Some of the political parties’ representatives were also quick to commend Commissioner Kaifala and his team for their massive gains in combating corruption and for the over Eight Billion Leones recovered in the last seven months.